Category Archives: Class Activities

Rubrics, July 24

Hello again! Instead of our scheduled discussion on MOOCs, I think everyone would benefit more from an assignment on rubrics. Since many of you will teach in these online environments or assign multimodal or blended work, you need an idea of how you will grade such projects. You’ll notice the rubric I am using for our online writing activities: this was designed by one of my classes! I sat back (and facilitated when necessary) a discussion of the important elements of this kind of work, and the entire class had to agree.

But is that a good strategy for you? Perhaps you want to design your own rubric ahead of time, maybe letting your class only tweak certain elements? What does our textbook have to say about grading students?

There is also a movement among educators to stop grading altogether, so you may decide that students can grade themselves or that the rough draft/completion of the project influences the grade more than the quality of such work.

So, for this Thursday’s assignment, I want you to design your own rubric. You can pick and choose from the links below or create something entirely new! Respond to this post with your rubric so that the entire class has access to our ideas in one place. 

Here are some links to get you started:

My rubric from the Writing for New Media class

Cheryl Ball’s Assessing Multimedia (look at the lists on p. 67-68 and p. 75)

Kairos peer-review criteria (scroll down to see the four categories)

IML’s Honors Thesis Project Parameters

Student Anxiety and Correspondence, July 17

For Thursday’s assignment this week, I want you to look up some of the research in this area – you can search in the library databases or Google scholar, for example – and see what people are finding in their classrooms. Journals are also dedicated to this topic such as Distance Education, Computers and Composition, and Innovative Higher Education

Try these links as a starting point:

Effect of Distance Learning on Undergraduate Students
Comparison of Student Achievement in an Online versus F2F Class
Engagement, Excitement, Anxiety, and Fear

Then, consider how you prefer to communicate as both a teacher and student. There are many ways to communicate with students (in both online and blended/hybrid courses) and many ways for students to communicate with one another, so what do you think is the best approach? What is a policy you can adopt as a teacher in terms of correspondence? Think about methods of communication and how often you are willing to use them, particularly for students who need additional help.

Before midnight on Thursday, respond to this post and any replies ahead of you in the Comments.

Methods of communication to consider: Blackboard (discussion forums and Virtual Office Hours/Classroom), Skype, Google Hangout, Adobe Connect, email, text, and Twitter

Assignment for Thursday, July 3

Hello! This fourth week of Summer B will be a little different – it is the first week that we don’t have a short assignment due, so I want us to spend some time preparing for future work.

First, look at the assignment instructions for Analysis of a Teaching Tool – respond to that page with your choice of tool (due by midnight on July 3). Your analysis will be due the following Thursday, July 10.

Second, begin looking at resources on the how/why of flipped classrooms and lessons – I have included a link in the assignment instructions, and I have tagged links on Twitter with our class hashtag #WUwrit510. Since this is the major assignment in the course, I want us to be prepared before we tackle it; many of you may not teach in online environments, but may instead focus on blended or mobile learning in more traditional classrooms. And this is a great tool/method to be aware of!

So, by midnight on July 3, I want you to create a small or “baby” version of a flipped lesson plan. One way to start may be to take a PowerPoint presentation or Prezi that you already have and record your voice over it – creating layers, additional instructions, further explanations, etc. In fact, the newest version of Microsoft Office actually asks if you want to start Camtasia (a recording software) when you open PowerPoint. Or, you can start by using a screencapturing software like Jing or Screencast-O-Matic, the latter you can use on their website without downloading. You will need a microphone, which you can buy rather cheaply at various stores or can borrow from the lab in Withers.

The choice will likely be determined by what kind of lesson plan you want to create – do you want to give students a similar experience to a lecture (slides with explanation), or do you want to walk students through a process (library research, thesis statement as you type, etc)?

Many of your free accounts on WordPress may not let you upload these creations to your blog, but you can create a YouTube channel or upload to a site like Vimeo that will then allow you to embed the link in a post/page. You can also post it to Blackboard.

Week 1 Blog Post Topic

Due: Thursday, June 12 by midnight

Several things have motivated me to create this course: organizations like NCTE have released statements about 21st-century literacies, Winthrop is reexamining its handheld technology policy for the classroom, and new reports are being released about student desire for more tech-savvy courses and instructors.

Of particular importance is the CCCC Committee for Effective Practices in Online Writing Instruction. Please look through their webpage to see the recent resolutions and guidelines, and make sure to notice the annotated bibliography the committee has compiled.

These sources (and many more) point to a changing landscape in education, something Winthrop’s new president is well aware of when she encourages us to offer more online and hybrid courses. But teaching electronically, or adding new media components, is something that takes thought and practice. I will confess that I have tried to simply migrate a traditional, face-to-face classroom into Blackboard – with fairly disastrous results. It is a different type of teaching, one I hope this class will allow you to explore and discuss.

So, for your first blog post, I want you to look through this class website, read the materials I provided above, and read the introduction to our textbook; then, respond with your thoughts about the subject and the class in general. What are some questions you plan to pursue this summer? What research topics are you interested in? You should discuss your response to the course goals and projects, what you expected from this class, what you think it’s going to be about, what you value as a student, what you hope to gain from this class, what ideas you might already have for projects, and anything else you find relevant for me to know. Your post serves as recognition that you have read and understood the course syllabus and also helps me gauge what you expect from me and this class.

NOTE: I will be adding information to the “Resources” page, including links to bibliographies, research in the field, etc. I also plan to add a how-to guide for blogs to help you design and organize your entries.